FREDERICTON (March 29, 2007) - Fredericton's new North Side Sports and Leisure Complex has officially opened. The state-of-the-art facility, valued at almost $16 million, is dedicated to sport and leisure in the community.
Hermel Vienneau, Vice President of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency NB Region, Hon. Kelly Lamrock, Minister of Education and MLA for Fredericton-Fort Nashwaak, and City of Fredericton Mayor Brad Woodside, were on hand for the official opening ceremonies.
"Canada's New Government, through ACOA, is pleased to have invested $1 million in the construction of the North Side Sports and Leisure Complex. The Canada/New Brunswick Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund investment helped to make possible the much-anticipated community complex," said the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA). "Canada's New Government is working with its partners to get things done for the people of Fredericton."
"The Government of New Brunswick is proud to have contributed funding toward this project," Lamrock said. "Leading-edge facilities such as the North Side Sports and Leisure Complex play a vital role in providing sport and recreation programs that contribute to the well-being of any community and its residents, especially its young people."
"It's a great day for Fredericton," said Mayor Woodside. "The complex is an investment in the health and wellness of our community and will contribute to a balanced lifestyle for the residents of Fredericton and surrounding area."
Also participating in the opening events were Councillor Bruce Grandy, chair of the City of Fredericton Community Services Committee, Malcolm Boyd with Centre Line Architects, designers of the project, and Rod Ackerman, Vice President, Marco Maritimes, Marco Group, builders of the complex.
For almost four years now, Fredericton City Council and municipal staff have been involved in a carefully considered process to upgrade the city's ice sport arenas. After eleven months of construction, the complex is now ready for the public to enjoy.
The first event to take place in the complex will be the 2007 Irving Oil Challenge Cup Atlantic Canada Bantam Hockey Championships. Tickets for the event will be available at the door. The tournament will conclude with a championship game at 1 pm on Sunday, April 1st
The public is invited to visit the building during one of three free public skates and self-guided tours planned for Fri., March 30th from 11 am to 1 pm, Sat., March 31st from 6 pm to 9 pm, and Sun., April 1st from 4 pm to 6 pm. Light refreshments will be served.
The complex features two NHL-sized ice surfaces, a number of large dressing rooms, offices for officials and event organizers, a walking track, a Celebration of Sport exhibit area, a community room, a YMCA wellness centre, and canteens operated by the Nashwaaksis Y's Men Club. The complex will be home ice for the Leo Hayes High School Lions men's and women's hockey teams, and the Fredericton "AAA" Midget Canadiens hockey team.
Total project cost for the complex is $15,850,000. The federal and provincial governments each contributed $1 million to the north side project under the Canada-New Brunswick Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund (CNBMRIF). The remaining project costs were funded by the City of Fredericton.
Media contacts: Wayne Knorr, Communications Coordinator, City of Fredericton, 506-460-2181; Paul C. J. LeBlanc, Senior Communications Officer, ACOA, 506-452-3310; Mike Wesson, Communications, Department of Environment, 506-453-3700.
Editor's Note: The following provides an overview of the project:
The process of renewing Fredericton's aging arenas began formally in March 2004, with a recreation think tank. This was followed by discussions with potential funding partners, the commissioning of reports from professional engineering firms, input from user groups in public and one-on-one meetings, tours to similar complexes, and obtaining best practice information for multi-use facilities.
Fredericton City Council announced in February 2005 that two new arena complexes would be built in Fredericton, one on the north side and one on the south side of the city. In March 2005, it was announced that the north side arena complex would be built on Cliffe Street, near Two Nations Crossing.
In June 2005, the City announced that Centre Line Architects had been selected to design the north side facility. The design for the Cliffe Street facility was unveiled in November 2005. Land clearing on the site took place throughout the later part of 2005 and early part of 2006. A tender to build the facility was issued in February 2006. Marco Maritimes Limited started work on the north side complex in April 2006.
A non-resident regional recreation tax rate of three cents per $100 of assessment was announced with the nearby Noonan Local Service District in September 2006. The tax rate will allow the residents of Noonan to access Fredericton's arenas and other recreation facilities without paying any additional non-resident user fees.
Total project cost for the complex is $15,850,000. In March 2006, the federal and provincial governments each contributed $1 million to the north side project under the under the Canada-New Brunswick Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund (CNBMRIF). The remaining project costs were funded by the City of Fredericton.